This is part 2 of the article about “Jidai Matsuri”, an annual festival held in Kyoto.
This is the part 2 of the article that introduces “Jidai Matsuri”, one of the big three festivals in Kyoto by pictures. In the previous article, we covered the Meiji Ishin period, the Edo period, the Azuchi Momoyama period, and the Muromachi period. In this article we’ll cover the Yoshino period, Kamakura period, FUjiwara period, Heian period, and the Enryaku period.
Let’s start part 2!
5) The Yoshino (Nanbokucho) Period
The Yoshino period refers to the era during which, the imperial family was separated into two, had a big civil war, and united again.
First, a parade for Kusunoki Masashige, a famous Samurai.
The armor and the clothing look very nice. So cool!
6) The Kamakura Period
Now we go back even further: the Kamakura period. It was when the government was around what is now Kanagawa prefecture. The Kamakura area, which was prosperous during this era, is still a popular sightseeing spot in modern days.
Here, we see Ms. Oharame, the female peddlers who sold firewood on their heads. It is said that people loved them since they were so unique to the capital.
Now we continue to go back in time, and see a parade of famous women of the Middle Ages.
The first woman is Ms. Yodogimi. She married to Mr. Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who began taking control during the Azuchi Momoyama period.
This is Ms. Muro, who was married to Fujiwara Tameie, the son of Fujiwara Teika. Fujiwara Teika is a well-known court noble, who selected the famous Hyakunin Isshu.
This is Ms. Shizuka Gozen. She was a mistress of Minamotono Yoritsune, who is the brother of Minamotono Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura period.
This is the Yabusame Retsu Parade. There is a competition where you hit a target with a bow and arrow while on horseback. Even today, you can see this competition at Sanjusangendo and so on.
7) The Fujiwara Period
This is the Fujiwara period. This is when the Fujiwara family (the regent) was most powerful during the Heian period, and when Kyoto was most prosperous.
First, it was a parade for Mr. Fujiwara.
This is a parade of the Heian period Females.
She is Ms. Tomoe Gozen. Although she was such a beauty, she was a female warrior who put on armor and went to war with the men.
Ms. Wakeno Hiromushi and a group of little girls. She is a court lady from the Nara period.
Their fashion has totally changed into the Nara period style.
8) The Enryaku Period
The Enryaku period refers to the era when the emperor named Kanmu governed Japan.
This parade represents the military servants of the Enryaku period.
The colorful armor is beautiful.
Now the military servants are replaced as civil servants!
This is the front row. It is called “the front row” because it appears before Jinkouretsu, the climax of the whole parade that comes after this. There were many children in this parade.
9) Finally, Jinkouretsu
Finally, the Jinkouretsu. Two Mikoshis (portable shrine) passed through.
As we mentioned in Part 1, this festival was born as a memorial event for the 1100 years of Heiankyo. That is why it ends with Jinkouretsu, which moved the Mitamashiro (a physical representing the emperors’ spirits) of both Kanmu and Koumei emperors, who transferred the capital to Houren (a portable shrine controlled by the emperors).
The parade finally reached the last stage!
This is a parade of Shirakawame, who peddled flowers while carrying them on their heads.
This is a parade of bow masters, called Kyuzengumi.
It was such an amazing parade of the ages.
The weather was great, and I had fun watching and photographing the festival.
It is such a rare opportunity to see with your own eyes the history of the rich Japanese culture, people, and manner the like Jidai Matsuri. Please visit this festival where you can enjoy the charm of Kyoto and Japan.